Saturday, March 16, 2013

Unofficial Event - Blue Cypress

While we were at the festival today, David mentioned to Dr. Baker from Pelican Island Audubon that he needed to survey Blue Cypress for the breeding bird atlas. It just so happens that Dr. Baker was doing a boat trip out there tonight and very kindly let David and I tag along. It was amazing! We went out of Middleton Fish Camp, rode out to the stick marsh, had an incredible dinner (including wine, brie, dessert... sorry, Alison, if you are reading this:-), then came back looking into a magnificent sun set. There were dozens of nesting ospreys. Here are the pictures, click to enlarge:

This is a female osprey. You can tell she is female cause the girls always wear a brown necklace. It is a fashion thing. 

This is a male osprey. Note he is not wearing a necklace, and is smaller than the female.

A female eating the lover offering from her boyfriend. I love the psychotic look in her eye.

Another female osprey.

Funny story here that explains why I am a terrible birder. See that little white dot on the horizon? Dr. Baker pointed out that it is the water tower less than a mile from my house. I have lived in Fellsmere for about 6-7 years now, and I swear I have never seen that water tower before ever. I think I might have a problem with observation. 

I'm not a good birder, but I can take a decent picture now and then. I really liked this one.

This is a red-shouldered hawk nomming on a lizard.

The exposure on this photo is awful, but it shows the contrast between the male (top, smaller,  no necklace) and the female (bottom, larger, wearing necklace.)

The classic view of a blue cypress sunset on our way back to shore. It's a rough job to live in Florida, but someone has to do it. Thanks to Dr. Baker for a fantastic evening!

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